Second Largest Dog-Fighting Raid Ends in Alabama, 367 Dogs Seized


By Catalina Trivino

Law enforcement officials bust what they say is the second largest dog-fighting raid in history. Federal and local agencies seized 367 dogs across multiple states -- most of those dogs were found in Alabama.

From those 367 dogs, about 260 were found in Alabama. It's a three year investigation that has spanned from Georgia to Texas. Now, these dogs are getting a second chance at life.

"[These] animals being spared the life of suffering at the end of a chain or at the hands of somebody in a bloody pit, where they'd ultimately lose their lives," Said Chris Schindler, with the U.S. Humane Society.

Thanks to federal and local officials -- these 367 pit bull terriers will have a different and better quality of life.

Representatives from the FBI, Humane Society and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals along with federal and local officials held a news conference concerning a national dog-fighting operation, where they raided 11 properties in Alabama, including in Crenshaw, Lee, Coffee and Houston Counties. Investigators say they found about 260 dogs involved in dog-fighting there.

The largest site in the dog-fighting raid was located in Waverly, Alabama. There, 114 dogs were seized.

"Today, these dogs are comfortable in the shelter being taken care of by ASPCA and HSUS responders. They're getting the food and water and medical care that they needed and they're finally getting a loving hand from responders who care for these dogs," Said ASPCA's Vice President of Field Investigations and Response, Tim Rickey.

But while they're in a safe haven now, it wasn't always like that -- agents say they found the dogs in what they're referring to as "horrendous conditions." Some flea infested and kept at a distance from each other.

Investigators say they were not having the dog fights at these locations, in fact they were more like puppy mills.

So far 10 people have been arrested on charges of dog-fighting in addition to illegal gambling. Officials expect even more arrests.

During the course of this investigation, agents also seized over $500,000 dollars from the people allegedly running the operation.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says some people were betting between $5,000 and $200,000 on one dog fight.